Alex Kennedy finished best of the British Young Riders at the Longines FEI European Eventing Championships to take an individual Bronze Medal with Lissangle Cavaletto B.
The pair produced soild performances across all three phases to follow up the individual silver medal they won at last year’s championships. However, it was a frustrating weekend for the team, who finished just outside of the medals.
In the dressage, team trailblazer Sam Ecroyd got Great Britain off to a flying start with Kasseedorf scoring 25.70.
Individual combination Mollie Summerland Charly van Ter Heiden followed Sam into the arena and got off to an equally strong start to score 27.4 penalties. Britain’s other individual rider Lizzie Baugh kept up the sub-30 streak on Quarry Man with a score of 29.5 penalties. The second team rider, Bubby Upton – last year’s Junior European Champion making her first appearance as a Young Rider, finished the first day of competition on a high with a score of 25.8 penalties on Cola III.
Yasmin Ingham and her NAF National Under 21 Championship ride Rehy DJ, produced a score of 28.5 penalties whilst team anchor Alex Kennedy matched her teammate for a score of 28.5 penalties on Lissangle Cavaletto B, but placed above Ingham in the individual standings based on the difference in their collective scores.
The strong results saw Ecroyd finish the dressage in silver medal position with Bubby Upton in the Bronze medal position, whilst the Great British team had a narrow hold on the Gold medal with 80.0 penalties ahead of Germany in silver (80.1 penalties) and France (81.9).
The cross country caused a big shake up of the leader board as several combinations picked up penalties throughout the course.
The GB NAF Young Riders sadly slipped down the team results but a brilliant clear round from Mollie Summerland shot her up the table to sit in the silver medal position individually.
Sam Ecroyd was first out for the British NAF Young Riders on Kasseedorf and was having a super round until the final water complex where they picked up 20 penalties at the arrow head in the water. Regrouping, Sam cleared the last few fences to cross the finish line with 20 jumping penalties and 15.2 time penalties to add to his dressage score giving him a total of 60.9 penalties for 32nd place.
A fantastic round from Mollie Summerland and Charly van Ter Heiden moved them up to sit in second place overnight; the individual combination came home clear with just 1.6 time penalties to give them a two phase score of 29.0 penalties – just three penalties off overnight leader Victor Levecque for France on 26.
Immediately following Mollie out onto the cross-country course, Lizzie Baugh also had a strong cross country round with Quarry Man; going clear the pair stopped the clock with four time penalties to complete on a score of 33.9 putting them in 11th place.
Bubby Upton and Rachel Upton’s Cola III were second out on course for the team but the influential fence going from the grass arena to a track between the tradestands caught Cola by surprise and they picked up two refusals before jumping clear on the third attempt. They completed the rest of the course without trouble but with sixty jumping and 11.6 time penalties their individual placing dropped down to 49th place with a score of 97.4.
Third team rider, Yasmin Ingham, produced a great round on Edwin and Sue Davies and Janette Chinn’s Rehy DJ, jumping a clear round and adding just 5.6 time penalties to their dressage score. On a total of 34.1 penalties the combination sits in 12th place at the end of the cross country phase. After Ingham had set off on the course, officials decided to remove fence 12 and she was not aware until she arrived at the fence to jump it, only to be waved on past by the fence judge. Thinking she was to be held, Ingham slowed down. This lost her valuable time but 1.6 penalties were removed by the ground jury on appeal.
Alex Kennedy, last out for the British team and last on course, enjoyed a brilliant clear round on Lissangle Cavaletto B with just four time penalties to add to their dressage score of 28.5 penalties leaving them with a two phase result of 32.5 for sixth place individually.
The mixed fortunes of the team riders saw the team slip to fourth place on 125.9 penalties, France move into Gold on 92.3, Germany silver on 95.3 and Italy bronze on 108.2.
There was more drama for the team at the final horse inspection as team trailblazer Sam Ecroyd’s ride was not accepted by the ground jury, meaning all three scores would count towards the final result.
Mollie Summerland, who was lying in the individual silver medal position on her own Charly van Ter Heiden going in to the final phase sadly dropped two fences to add eight faults to their score for a total score of 37.0 putting them in ninth place overall. Fellow individual rider Lizzie Baugh had just one fence down on her own Quarry Man to give her a total score of 37.9 for a 13th place finish.
First to go for the British contingent, team rider Bubby Upton lowered one fence and picked up four time faults on Rachel Upton’s young horse Cola III. Their three phase score of 105.4 penalties gave them finishing place of 43rd.
Finishing just outside the medals, Yasmin Ingham completed on exactly the same score of 32.5 as her teammate but with a difference in collective marks from the dressage phase, Yasmin took fourth place with Rehy DJ following another perfect clear round.
But Alex Kennedy kept her cool and jumped a beautiful clear round on Lissangle Cavaletto B to lead the Brits to an individual bronze medal. Going into the arena in seventh place, last year’s silver medallist made light work of the tricky show jumping track not once looking like they were going to touch a pole to stay on their score of 32.5 penalties and climb the ranks to third place.
France’s Victor Levecque took gold on 26 penalties and Emma Brüssau silver on 31.3 for Germany.
With all three scores counting, the British NAF Young Riders had to settle for fourth position on a total score of 170.4 penalties. France held on to their gold medal on 99, Italy the silver on 124.2 and Sweden bronze on 148.1.